Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Random Round-up

I hear it's 28 degrees in Winnipeg today.  It's 14 and cloudy in Vancouver today.  And you know,  I'm ok with that.  Would you like to know why?  Once I pack the girl's summer clothes away and make room for the fall and winter clothes, I like to keep it that way.  I packed the summer clothes away a few weeks ago.  Then, last week we had a few days of hot weather and I had to go back into the bins to get shorts out.  That's annoying.  Equally annoying is that when you then do the laundry, you've end up with shorts and tank tops that you've got to put back into the bins instead of just putting into the laundry basket for the girls me to put away later.

Although I still miss my little buddy at home with me in the afternoons, I've adjusted quite well to being on my own.  Quite well indeed.

Thanksgiving weekend awaits and for the second year in a row we're heading to Whistler.  Friends of ours own a huge vacation home in Whistler that we're renting with two other school families for a great deal.   Along with the food and games and hiking shoes, Mike's bringing his fiddle and Marc and Don their guitars.  Music making and merriment and some Whistler Brewing Company's dark ale should add to the festive spirit of the weekend.  We're taking off tomorrow night when Mike gets home from work and playing hooky from school and work on Friday to make it an extra long and glorious weekend in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.

Music lessons are in full swing at Chez' Penner.  We managed to find Ellie a new violin teacher that Mike approved of.  The only thing Mike doesn't approve of is the fact that said teacher likes to run a portable heater in her already tiny studio space (Mike is the hottest man alive) and also wears bad perfume.  He thinks he can pull through.  In a stroke of genius I managed to find an amazing piano teacher who comes to OUR HOUSE for lessons.  This means I can make supper and work on homework with Ellie while Hannah and Sasha take their lessons.   I like it.   In woodwind news,  Hannah is blowing up a storm on the alto saxophone.  It's loud.  She's proud.  Band teachers of the world - I salute you.

The BC Teacher's Federation is still well into their job action.  This is causing angst and worry in Hannah and lots of students at Confederation Park.  Hannah did a great job of gathering well over one hundred signatures for her petition.  She's sending it off to Education Minister George Abbott this week. It seems there is no end in sight to this labour dispute.  The Vancouver Sun has reported that the Ministry of Education is planning to lock-out teachers to put an end to the job action quickly.  Teacher friends that I have predict a long haul - likely ending in a full-out strike in early spring.  Stay tuned.

I love pumpkin anything.

Thanks to our neighbor Adrian back in Winnipeg, we've fallen madly in love with the music of Vancouverite Dan Mangan.  Dan is the real deal.  His newest album, Oh Fortune was just released last week to  rave reviews from various media outlets and my personal music guru, Jian Ghomeshi.  If Jian likes it, I do too, ok?  Actually, Mike and I knew we love it and Dan's older album, Nice, Nice Very Nice so much that we snagged some tickets to see Dan's show at the Orpheum Theatre in November.  Can't wait. You can check out Dan's music here.   For the record, Ellie's favourite Dan Mangan song is Robots.   Mine is Baskets.  That song just haunts me.

The old green couch is on its way out of our front door.  It's a happy day here, folks.  Well, it is for some of us.  The old faithful green couch has been around since Mike and I tied the knot 15 years ago.  This couch has served us well, and for some reason, the girls feel a very strong bond with it.  So strong in fact, that they actually cried real and genuine tears at the prospect of us replacing it.  "It's the only couch we've ever known"  "There will never be another couch like this one" was the refrain we heard for several weeks.  You know what girls?  You're not the boss of me!  And the green machine has got to go!  We found a replacement and are waiting for delivery.  The green couch will be appearing on Craigslist soon with the heading "If you can pick me up and haul me out of here, I'm yours for free".  We hope we find our old faithful friend a great new home.  Maybe the girls can visit.

Mike is getting itchy to hit the slopes again this winter.  We thought we'd change it up a little this year and buy our passes at Mount Seymour, as last year we skied up at Grouse Mountain.   I'm planning to ski this year too.  Last year my elbow catastrophe made that impossible.

Speaking of my elbow, it's still a problem.  I went for new x-rays yesterday and will have a follow-up with a family doc and hopefully a referral to an orthopedic specialist early next week.  With physio, exercise, and doing all of the right things, I have not regained anything close to the full-extension of my arm.  I still experience considerable pain and even swelling and bruising after stretching it out.  Not being able to straighten out your arm is frustrating.  It also makes you look goofy in pictures.

After many years of ballet, Hannah is taking Contemporary Dance this year.  She is loving the switch.  I knew she would.

Mike and I watched an amazing movie a few weeks ago on the Mother Corp.  It's called One Week and stars Joshua Jackson.  I remember hearing the hype about it on "The Hour" last year.   It's a Canadian film, through and through.  The soundtrack to the film is fabulous, and  The Hip's Gord Downey even has a small role.  Hunt it down and watch it if you get a chance.

I'm reading Douglas Copeland's Girlfriend in a Coma right now.  If you're living on the west coast, you gotta read some Copeland, right?

Mother's instincts are usually right.  They just are.  Trust them.


  1. I commend Ellie on her taste in tunes. "Robots" rocks! I'm also very partial to "Sold" and, well, pretty much everything on that record. More Mangan!!

  2. Thanks for the "catch-up" on life . . .

    -I cannot believe you are parting with the green couch - Chez Penners will not be the same
    -when you move back you and Caleb will need to make weekly dates to work on your elbow/arm mobility
    -don't tell Terry about the slopes
    -I hope you are having a fantastic wkd. in Whistler
    -I wish you and I were cooking a Thanksgiving dinner together with some nice chicken fat for gravy

    We're so thankful for you and wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!